Baby clothes are so little and cute. But considering their size relative to adult clothes, they can be expensive. While admiring some lovely items on one of my favorite shop websites, I said out loud – in utter disbelief – to anyone who might hear me and could relate, “How can a baby sweater cost the same as an adult sweater? It’s less than half the material.”
This is why getting hand-me-downs, whether for free or for a fraction of the cost that they were retail, is a little like opening gifts on Christmas morning. Mamas sharing their little ones’ clothes that don’t fit anymore or any other useful item is a simple way of showing support to a fellow mama.
When I was pregnant with both of my little ones, a friend let me dig through her bins of baby clothes and told me to take whatever I liked. Another friend gave me her body pillow and foam roller to support me during my pregnancy. Yet another friend passed along her nursing tanks when her breastfeeding journey was over, and mine was just beginning. Every now and again, a friend of mine will drop off something that doesn’t fit her little ones anymore, most recently a pair of boots for my son, Soren.
This is one of the most helpful things you can do for a fellow mama.
It all adds up. Almost all of Soren and Stella’s clothes were bought gently worn and loved from a handful of local mamas from the Wauwatosa KidCycle group. Our little ones sometimes seem to grow overnight. Having that next size in boots from a friend or those gently worn 2T jammies ready (because all of a sudden I was squeezing Soren into those 18-month ones and was afraid I was going to hurt him) can really help. It’s not only helping save money but is also reducing waste and our commercial footprint, helping the Earth in one small way.
Getting a bag of hand-me-down clothes from a mama friend is like getting a bag of love.
I’ve always been a bit sentimental about clothes. There’s no doubt that clothes hold memories and love. Baby clothes definitely increase the sentimentality factor for me. Maybe it’s because they are so little and cute, or perhaps it’s because that tiny little outfit lets me hold onto the smallness of my babies in something tactile and not just in photos. That favorite pair of jammies that they wore all of the time? That cute outfit that they had one of their first adventures in? These are so loved for the memories that are attached to them.
When another mama shares her little ones’ hand-me-downs with you, she is saying you’re a part of her community.
One of the reasons I most appreciate getting hand-me-downs is because I like giving clothes a second life. I care for each item as if it were new as best as I can in between wears, spit-ups, and blow-outs. It makes me happy to be able to continue this hand-me-down cycle as I pass those items that we no longer need to another mama and her little one, spreading the love, solidarity, and support.
To all of the mamas who have shared their little ones’ gently worn clothes, you are amazing. Thank you for clothing my little ones in so many cute outfits. And thank you for reminding me that I have a community of mamas behind me, supporting me in this crazy adventure of motherhood.